Stretching my find as far back as possible and I still cannot remember anything about last year’s Valentine’s Day. It’s not important, but it does make me wonder if there might be a large rotten hole in the centre of my brain. It’s a possibility that whatever happened on 14th February 2010 resulted in brain injury or some sort of memory flush using advanced alien technology. Under what circumstances could a romantic meal lead to me being shot up the nose with a nail gun or struck soundly on the back of the head with a ball-peen hammer? Might my girlfriend have temporarily being playing host to a body-snatcher who used to opportunity to conduct physiological and behavioural experiments on me before erasing all memory of the evening? I need hypnotism or another crack on the crown of my skull to reawaken the dormant memory.
The two previous years (2008 & 2009) were spent at a Japanese/Korean restaurant in Altrincham, Oriental Fire, which I remember most fondly because it serves okonomiyaki (cheap street food in Japan, rare overpriced delicacy over here: Abeno Okonomiyaki in London has the ‘Kansai special’ on the menu priced at £49.95... that’s fifty quid for what is basically an omelette). This year we went to Kyotoya (for balance I will say I love it and always get excellent service, but my friend went with his girlfriend and the service was rubbish and he hated it) in Withington, and got plied with free sake including a couple of cups of some extremely strong stuff that had an aftertaste somewhere between whiskey and vodka. Jun, the chef, said “this is too strong for ladies” as he gave me a cup and not my fiancée. Fine by me.
I can’t imagine that last year we would have not gone for Japanese food, as tradition dictates, but the more I try to remember the more I am blindly facing a void. The two scenarios I suggested before are unlikely – alien abduction, pah! – but the mushy pit in my brain got there somehow; probably from a small but voracious family of parasitic worms which entered my body like Greeks in a Trojan horse of raw tuna. They wriggled and jiggled through my stomach using a piece of pickled ginger as a raft, grains of sushi rice as flotation aids and sustained themselves with wasabi and mirin. Somehow my digestive tract lead them to my brain, possibly due to some dodgy plumbing, where they set up base camp and proceeded to consume my grey matter like European settlers killing and eating their way across the American continent. Their numbers continue to grow exponentially and soon my fingertips will burst forth unleashing massed hordes of squiggly sushi worms.
Any ideas what I did last Valentine’s Day? Answers on a postcard.